SEWARD, Neb. – Instrumental in taking Concordia’s throws group to new heights, assistant coach Ed McLaughlin received worthy accolades from the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) on Thursday. McLaughlin earned Midwest regional honors for both Men’s Assistant Coach of the Year and Women’s Assistant Coach of the Year from the USTFCCCA. Honors were based solely on the 2016 indoor track and field season.
The honors come fittingly after McLaughlin’s throwers dominated the GPAC indoor meet last week. Concordia swept shot put and weight throw titles on both the men’s and women’s sides while Zach Lurz (shot put) and Kali Robb (weight throw) broke GPAC meet records. As part of the impressive meet, Concordia throwers went 1-2-5-7-8 in the men’s shot put, 1-2-4-5-6-8 in the men’s weight throw, 1-3-4 in the women’s shot put and 1-3-5-6 in the women’s weight throw.
An army of McLaughlin’s throwers are set to travel to next week’s national championships in Johnson City, Tenn. On the men’s side, five Bulldogs will compete in the shot put and six will take part in the weight throw. On the women’s side, Concordia will have three competitors in the shot put and four in the weight throw at the national championships. Cody Boellstorff (weight throw), Stephanie Coley (shot put) and Lurz (shot put) are all current NAIA national leaders.
In recent years, McLaughlin has guided four individual national champions, beginning with Liz King in the javelin (2014). Then in 2015, Lurz (shot put) and Josh Slechta (weight throw) won indoor national titles and Boellstorff (hammer throw) captured an outdoor NAIA championship. Throwers totaled 37 of 59 team points as the Concordia men won the 2015 NAIA outdoor team national title. Following the 2015 track and field season, “The Thrower’s Page” statistical formula ranked Concordia throwers No. 1 in the NAIA and No. 27 among all collegiate institutions (including all levels of the NCAA).
In his 19th season as an assistant coach for the Concordia University track and field program, McLaughlin has tutored 74 All-Americans, 36 GPAC champions and 12 national runner-up finishers, in addition to the four national champions. In 2015 Lurz was named the NAIA most valuable performer of the outdoor national championships.